Narrowboat refurb - Back to the bathroom...

Discussion in 'Restorations' started by Zed, Oct 12, 2022.

  1. Zed

    Zed Gradually getting grumpier

    Some of you may recall me moaning that my boat interior panelling was held together with PinkGrip which has given up the ghost and that insulation is 3M fluffy stuff... more commonly used for vehicle sound proofing. Damn.
    After having mushrooms sprouting out from under one particular panel, I kid you not, and refitting a window above the offending 'shrooms which has sealed the leak, I've bitten the bullet and removed a panel to see exactly what's going on.

    Right, narrowboat hulls are made with box sections at intervals welded to the inside of the hull. What you're supposed to do is screw battens to them, insulate between and fix your panels to the battens. Like this or any variety of similar framework.

    Maybe to save time, maybe to make the interior bigger, maybe a bit of both, what I have is battens stuck onto the hull to that the tops are flush with the steel box sections. There are no screws. The fluffy 3M is between the battens with strips on top of the steel box sections that are crushed flat. The pink grip is where the battens fell off when I removed the panel.

    So... bugger! What to do? Part of me thinks - buy a house with a garage. Live in the house while completely stripping out the boat, batten out and get it spray foamed, but... what job!

    One obvious problem here is when I batten it, it will get smaller inside by 1" in all directions. I don't mind that, but the panels won't fit back on, the bulkheads will all be too big, there's wiring and plumbing...

    With that in mind I'm thinking yes, I'll tackle it a bit at a time and use insulation boards. Maybe just leave the roof.

    Next problem is whoever panelled it out didn't line up the panel joins below the gunnels with the ones above so doing it a section at a time isn't going to be straightforward.

    Mad? :D
    EggBoxes, redgaz, Meltman and 2 others like this.
  2. Zed

    Zed Gradually getting grumpier

    Another problem - if I make my walls thicker, my nice oak window surrounds won't be deep enough. :mad:

    And the bottom half of course has all manner of fitted seats/cupboards full of stuff. I could stash some in the van, but the van is full of 1/3 tonne of solid fuel. Damn, I need a shed!
  3. theBusmonkey

    theBusmonkey Sponsor

    Feel your pain Steve.
    What about this...
    I've bought a roll of this for the syncro

    If the claims are true, it stands to be an awesome product.

    You could run batons in the same gash flush way as the old ones, but use some of that stuff I suggested on your doors thread. The thicker one PGB. I think that will work if you run a glue line down 2 adjacent sides of the baton, one for the hull, and one for the steel bearer.

    Or you could use 25mm kingspan or celotex and do a bit at a time. Or use both the foam board and the foil and tape it with foil tape. Screwfix do a 75mm roll which is good value.
  4. davidoft

    davidoft Sponsor

  5. Quite a dilemma considering you have to live in it.

    It’s either going to be move out and do it properly
    Or stick with the original dodgy battening and do a better job of insulating it a bit at a time.

    Maybe purchasing a Luton box type van to leave in the car park to use as dry storage would be an idea.

    Best of luck with it Steve whatever approach you take.

    there’s always the option of sticking it all back together with pink grip and pretending you never looked.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2022
    Zed likes this.
  6. I can imagine the sellers face when Steve is asking if he can dismantle the interior to see if it’s been battened and insulated properly
    davidoft likes this.
  7. Barry Haynes

    Barry Haynes I dance in leopard skin mankini’s

    E3B0BECA-4E22-4858-BD9E-E0B3B99A414C.jpeg :eek:

  8. I’ve heard a lot of real world accounts of that type of product not living up to its claims☹️
  9. Dubs

    Dubs Sponsor supporter extraordinaire

    That sounds like the sort of thing that would escalate into a full on nightmare if you let it… can you really be arsed?

    I would be tempted buy another boat, and sell the old one for a massive profit. :thumbsup:
    davidoft likes this.
  10. Zed

    Zed Gradually getting grumpier

    Unfortunately we've wrecked it, destroying it's resale value and despite it's problems we like it. It has good points too, mostly that all the kit is top notch and barely used inc the engine it has a great layout for two single people and we've painted the outside. :)
  11. Zed

    Zed Gradually getting grumpier

    The 3M stuff is actually good insulation judging by the frost melt time compared to other boats, if only the glue hadn't reached it's end letting air flow behind the boards it would all be ok. I'm tempted to "just" work around the top half and seal it all up. I started at a side hatch and removed one 8ft board and a little one so I have my overlap if you see what I mean - I can finish the 8ft one leaving the small one off, then remove the next one, finish the small one etc. Next up is a 3 window bay - I'm going to plate those over in favour of insulated panels, we have too many windows. lol We're going to end up with a rugged boat if all goes to plan.
  12. I can’t see the link you put hit is it some kind of multilayer foil insulation quit such as tlx-silver?
    Anyway - think I’m on board with @theBusmonkey - celotex between battens - the foil quilt over the whole lot - just staple it onto the battens and foil tape the joints to create vapour barrier and then back on with panels - you may even be able to do it in sections. Good luck
    Huyrob, paradox and Zed like this.
  13. Zed

    Zed Gradually getting grumpier

    Spent the rest of the day scraping the worst of the rust off mostly
    Rust treating tomorrow...

    trouble is... what battens? :lol:
    Merlin Cat and Mattlad like this.
  14. could you batten it out screwing into the side of the box section rather than running over the top of the box section?
    Merlin Cat likes this.
  15. Zed

    Zed Gradually getting grumpier

    I'm almost tempted to do that but.... I would like to remove the direct heat transfer as much as possible. I think I'm going to have to do it the traditional way to get the panels mostly clear of the steel with the battens only touching the steel top and bottom. Just the window surround depth to deal with then. Whoever decided rounded corners at the bottom was nice is to blame, though maybe I can find a way to make square ones and infill the corners. Or extend them and infill the extensions.
  16. What type of insulation is traditionally used? Is there normally a gap between insulation and the Hull/ external sides? I feel your pain. At least once you’ve tackled it you know it’s sound for a good few years.
  17. Zed

    Zed Gradually getting grumpier

    The idea is to get insulation solidly fitted to the steel hull to prevent condensation. These days people spray foam them which is great when you have a bare unfitted one but we live in this one.

  18. I'm no boat refurbishment expert, but I imagine managing the humidity within the boat and avoiding damp build up behind the panels would be important to avoid mildew, rot etc.

    My area is historic buildings where the same principle applies, and therefore use natural products and ventilation and avoid anything involving plastic or moisture barriers as this traps the damp and problems occur over time.

    In this case consider products like wool for insulation which naturally manages moisture and is excellent insulation and make sure there is ventilation and breathable products as much as possible. Looks like you'll have a cavity in which to get plenty of insulation.

    Just a thought, as I say, I know little about canal boats so that might be total nonsense.
    Graham Gunn and Zed like this.
  19. Can you rent another boat over the winter and then do this one properly?
    It's going to cost twice as much and take three times as long to do it bit by bit, kind of like a floating resto.....
  20. Zed

    Zed Gradually getting grumpier

    It won't cost twice as much but yes it will take a lot longer piecemeal. However I've decided I'll just do the top sides as they are by far the worst bit and also the most accessible. Like that I could do the ceiling separately if I ever had the urge but I probably won't. Boats for rent are very few and far between BTW.
    See first post, I need to buy a house at some point anyway and doing that would be one way if it had a garage for storage, but another boat? No thanks, it wouldn't really help because there is a lot of stuff in a narrowboat if you took it all out at once - where would I put it? I'd live in the camper in the car park if it was just me then do it in 3rds - ish.

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